I’ve noticed a bit of a shift in myself lately and I’m not sure it’s a good thing. I’m finding that I am afraid of stepping out of my new routine. When a friend suggests catching up for lunch or dinner I try to make excuses to avoid it as I’m not sure I’ll be able to work out how many calories are in the food I’ll eat even if I think I’m making a healthy choice. Why can’t menus give you a calorie breakdown? (menus at cafes and restaurants I mean not fast food takeaways). I don’t want to become a social pariah and food is a big part of my social activities so I need to find a healthy way to deal with it. One off big social events where I know its going to be a big calorie meal, but I have advanced warning for I’m not so scared of. It’s the regular lunch out or spontaneous get togethers I cant plan for that worry me.
Today I bit the bullet and agreed to go to lunch. I picked the healthiest thing on the menu – a grilled chicken and avocado salad. I actually felt like a change from water so ordered a diet coke to go with it. Having MyFitnessPal on my phone was handy… except I wasnt sure which version of chicken and avocado salad to use.. and most of them referred to “one serve” and I have no idea how big “one serve” is. So I picked one at a happy medium since there was no pesto or anything involved and took it to be around 269 cals.
When the salad arrived it looked massive! I was full just by looking at it. I wasnt terribly hungry anyway as just before going to lunch we had done 2km of walking along the soft sand on the beach (killer on the calves) and I was too tired to be hungry. I looked at the chicken and tried to work out how much it would weigh. There wasnt much avocado in it so I wasnt too worried about that but then I tasted it and found a dressing mixed through the salad underneath and that almost sent me into a panic. What did they use in the dressing? Was it full of sugar? These are not normal thoughts for me and I don’t like the feeling that came with them. I calmed myself down and tried to put my well educated taste buds to good work (I’ve eaten a LOT of different foods over my life. Surely I can pick out what’s in here!) Once I stopped freaking out I did realise it was a simple balsamic dressing and nothing worth stressing over. Yes I know I could have asked the chef what was in it but I would have felt like a fool. Fat chick wondering how much sugar is in a salad dressing that would have looked great… not. (yes I still have a LOT of work to do in relation to not worrying what other people think of me.) In the end I only ate half the salad and thought I was full. Now I’m home and starting to feel hungry again… but I do’nt really know how many calories I ate so don’t know how many I have left to play with today.
Similar fears are coming up with exercise too. I’m not paranoid about the numbers (didn’t have HRM on during beach walk today so no idea how many calories I burned), but I’m kind of scared about taking a rest day. My body is screaming at me for one – especially my legs. I have exercised every day since the end of December. I tried to take a rest day last Monday but by the afternoon just felt I HAD to do something so did an upper body circuit. At least I rested the legs I guess. I think my fear isn’t really about taking a rest day, it’s that I am afraid that if I stop exercising even for one day I wont get back into it. Don’t get me wrong – its not like I’m spending hours every day exercising or anything. Most days it’s only 1hr or a little longer. Today was only 30min of soft sand walking (felt like twice as long – but I still think I need to do more today). My legs are really starting to complain though. Driving home from the beach my calves threatened to cramp up every time I depressed the clutch. I know I need a rest day. I’m going to try and put my fear aside and take one tomorrow. (Friday). I’m hoping that the fact that I have bootcamp on Saturday and a pre arranged Bay Walk on Sunday means that the rest day wont extend to any longer than one day. I also hope I can get through the day without feeling guilty about not doing anything. Maybe Ill just concentrate on stretches all day so I’ll feel like I’ve done something but in reality wont have.
I’m not sure what’s going on with my head. I’ve never felt like this before. Hell I used to have rest days every day and eat whatever I damn well felt like without worrying about how many calories are in it. I want to have a normal relationship with food. I don’t want to rely on it to stabilise my emotional state, but I don’t want to be afraid of it either. I’m really hoping this side of things settles down as the program wears on, or that by facing these fears, one day at a time I can get over them.